Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Hope This Post Is Not Proof That I Have A Split Personality...

One of my biggest struggles in my life can be summed up with one word: balance. I'm not very good at balance. I don't mean I stumble around like a drunk all the time, like I have issues with the workings of my inner ear or anything. Not that kind of balance. Mostly, I mean balance between my adult self and my child self. They're always fighting for dominance. And I don't mean fighting like battling it out with swords, to the death. Remember, one participant in the duel is a child.

It's more like there's a mature adult, doing his thing, giving Johanna patient, reliable guidance, and constantly--constantly!--there's this pesky child who keeps butting in, trying to elbow the mature adult out of the way, shouting nonsense, being obnoxious and laughing at things that aren't funny. And then the mature adult rolls his eyes and shoves the child behind him again and continues with his patient guidance, only to be interrupted again by the child. And it never ends. Neither of these people ever sleep, take breaks, or concede victory to the other, and there is no middle ground. It's all or nothing; just the same monotony over and over and over again. Forever.

And, though it's happening somewhere inside me, it inevitably makes its way to the surface eventually. Whether it's something I say, do, or think, either the mature adult or the obnoxious child is easily visible in me at any given time.

Like now. I'm sitting at Scooters (I needed a change of scenery besides Nu Vibe, and Scooters has Green Tea smoothies=no brainer), and I'm marking up my school notes with colored highlighters. Now, I could lie and say the reason I mark up my notes with blue and pink highlighters is because it makes it easier to study, but really, I like the pretty colors. #child is in control#

Or when I'm at home, thinking, "I would really really enjoy watching Hogan's Heroes right now, despite all the things that I have to do..." and then I think, "No! I've got to study! I've got a quiz tomorrow, and tests next week!" #adult is in control#

Also, when I'm marking up my notes, I'm sure it looks to outsiders like I'm coloring in a coloring book. I'm practically laying on the table, face an inch from the page, and markers of various bright colors are littered around the table. #child is definitely in control# The only difference here is, when done coloring, a child would hold up a picture and shriek, "Look Mommy, I drew a pony!" and, when done highlighting, I hold up a picture and shriek, "Look Mommy, I drew a eukaryotic cell in the third stage of mitosis!"

And sometimes, these personality transformations happen very rapidly. For instance, I'll say something childish (#child is in control#), then think, "Wow, Jo, that was a very childish thing to say." (#adult is in control#).

BUT! I don't think being childish is bad ALL the time (maybe I'm thinking this because the child is in control?). What I mean is, I don't want to "grow up" to be a boring drone of an adult. I always promised myself I would not be boring and lame. I promised myself I would still be fun and interesting when I got old.

What do I mean by "fun and interesting"? Coloring all over my notes! Sometimes throwing the textbooks on the bed and marching downstairs to watch Hogan's Heroes and not caring about consequences. Drawing stupid pictures and making people out of plastic spoons at work to make my coworkers laugh. Eating oatmeal where the eggs turn into baby dinosaurs. Staying up all night creating creatures out of hot glue for no real reason.

However, not all of the childishness is good. On the flip side, there are some things that I like about the mature adult part of me, and some things I don't like. Sometimes I'm too stiff and boring. Sometimes I don't appreciate pretty skies. Sometimes I don't laugh ONCE all day. Sometimes I worry too much. Sometimes I take the beauty of the outdoors for granted. Sometimes I take LIFE for granted.

So where is the balance?? How can one be fun and interesting, and yet, smart and mature? I'm still figuring it out. But wait. Maybe there shouldn't be ANY balance! Maybe I should just color pictures and watch Hogan's Heroes ALL DAY LONG! #child is in control#.


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